New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

A mortgage is likely the largest debt you will ever have to repay. The idea of having a mortgage hanging over your head for up to 30 years can feel daunting. With some sacrifices and discipline, you might be able to pay off your loan years ahead of schedule.

Make Extra Payments
Some mortgage lenders allow borrowers to make extra payments to repay their loans earlier. Some financial institutions accept additional payments at any time, while some don’t accept extra payments at all, only accept them at specific times or charge penalties. Check with your lender.

If your financial institution will allow you to make extra payments, you could erase years from your repayment period. You can make an extra payment if you have additional funds from a bonus or the sale of property. If...

When and How to Negotiate the Price of Your New Home

You might be able to purchase the house of your dreams for less than the asking price. If the owner is in a hurry to move or the house has been on the market for months and you are the first person to make an offer, the seller might be willing to shave thousands of dollars off the price or to make concessions in other areas to sweeten the deal.

When to Offer a Lower Price
An owner who has to move by a specific deadline is motivated to sell. Someone who is moving for a new job will want to wrap up the process of selling the house in time to relocate and start over. If the deadline is fast approaching, the owner may be willing to cut a deal. You can ask the real estate agent why the owner is selling the house, but he or she may not be able to tell you.

How to Negotiate...

3 Ways to Save for a Down Payment

Saving for a down payment can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible.

While a 20 percent down payment isn’t necessarily the norm anymore, most loans require some money down from buyers.

Coming up with these funds can be a sticking point on the path to homeownership, especially when you consider that a 10 percent down payment on a $230,000 home requires having $23,000 in cash.

If a home purchase is on the horizon, here are a few ways you can begin saving for a down payment before crunch time sets in.

Automatic Savings
While you may already be doing this for your retirement account, a college savings account for your child, or any other savings account for a long-term goal, set up a separate automatic savings account at...

Interior Paint Finishes: Choosing the Right Options for Your Home

You’ve agonized over color choices and made your final decision. Now comes the question of which finishes are the best for every area you plan to paint. With six different finishes to choose from, the decision may not be as simple as you think. The house painting experts at Home Depot offer a primer (no pun intended) on paint finishes and where to use them:

Flat Finish
This paint has a matte finish that reflects no light, making it great for most interior walls. It is especially good if you need to camouflage small wall imperfections. While flat paint is more or less washable, you may want to keep some extra around for touch-ups if and when needed.

Flat Enamel
This paint has a durable, flat, matte finish. It’s...

Flooded Basement? What to Do

As a homeowner, one of the last things you want to discover is water in your basement. Whether it comes from a rainstorm or a burst pipe, even a small amount of water can have devastating results.

Take action immediately. If you find water in your basement, shut off the electricity before you enter the area. Water conducts electricity, which means that entering a flooded basement with the power still on could put you at risk of serious injury.

If it’s coming from a burst pipe, shut off the water immediately. If you don’t know how to do this, either ask someone to help you or call a plumber.

Dry out the basement. Depending on the amount of water in the basement, you might be able to remove...

How a Small House Can Save You Money

The average square footage of a house in the United States has increased from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,392 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That can be a lot of area to clean each week.

A smaller house of 1,000 square feet or a tiny house of 500 square feet can drop the cost of buying cleaning supplies. There are other ways to save money with a small house, too. Here are some:

Home Price: A smaller home will likely cost less to buy simply because it requires less land and fewer materials to build. That doesn’t mean you have to have less land, though. Paying less for a small home can give you more money to spend elsewhere, such as buying open land that can be enjoyed in other ways.

Lower Costs: Taxes, insurance, heating, cooling,...